Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Our Hungry Caterpillar's First Birthday

We had so much fun at Elijah's 1st Birthday (and my 25th birthday) BBQ on Saturday...I enjoyed getting ready for it, and hanging out with our friends. Eli particularly enjoyed climbing in and out of the baby pool, and he loved the rainbow cake!

Here is the gist of the details for those of you who have short attention spans:

One of the best things about this party is that we did it on a budget.

Here's the breakdown of the expenses:
  • Cake Mix, Icing, and Food Coloring--£20
  • Tissue Paper- £5
  • Fishing Line- £2
  • Balloons-£8 (Just a few helium ones--these popped immediately. Next time, I won't bother!)
  • Normal Balloons- £2
  • Flowers- £7 
  • Paper Goods- £6
  • TOTAL:  £50 (plus a little more extra food)
 I don't know if any of you have thrown a party recently....but when you look into buying a cake/decorations/invitations/party favours, the expenses add up more quickly than you can say "We're all going to get cancer from the food coloring in that 7-layer rainbow cake."

With almost 40 guests (including about 8 children) I was pretty proud of myself for keeping the cost down (a little over £1/person). When you grill out, it makes the food easy too. We asked adults to bring their own meat, but we provided a couple of types of salads, nibbles, cake (and a few friends brought various baked goods), and soft drinks.

It's not something we will do every year, but considering that it was our son's very first birthday, I am really glad we did something special!

Besides the invitations and envelopes, here's the other stuff I did myself to keep things on the less expensive side....

Tissue paper Pom-poms for the gate at the entrance to our house, and a few other places.
 Pom-pom caterpillar!
Balloon garland
 There's nothing on the food table...because I forgot to take pictures besides anything but the cake once the food was out...Mummy was busy!

 Speaking of cake.....I also made the cake.  I just used two good ol' betty crocker vanilla cake mixes, and a few tubs of buttercream icing! My friend, Kate, did the icing part for me, because she is awesome. I was also afraid that if I did it the cake would fall over....and then spontaneously combust. I did manage to compose an "E" out of skittles (taste the rainbow) on the top!

It was an absolute delight when we cut into it!
Elijah enjoyed eating it (I'll spare you the millions of photos of that), and squishing it between his pudgy one year old fingers!
My friend Jess, also made some adorable cupcakes!
  I put jars/vases with white spray carnations, rainbow tulips, and baby's breath around on the few tables we had set out.  There were also skittles and M&Ms for people to nibble.
I printed labels and used baby food jars to make party favours for the kiddies-- "Caterpillar Food"! (A.K.A. Cheerios)
and I made Placemats for the kiddos as well!
I just designed the artwork, incorporating Eric Carle's "Very Hungry Caterpillar", and John 6:35.  I printed it on large pieces of paper, and laminated them.  (On the reverse side, there is the beautiful butterfly that emerges from the cocoon at the end of the story, along with the rest of the Bible verse).

We didn't get a family photo, since Jim was glued to the grill all night like so....
 But, I did manage to get a friend to snap a photo of me and the birthday boy!

And here he is enjoying the baby pool.. (Sorry....I just can't resist. ; )
 That's one happy baby. 

And so concludes the Very Hungry Caterpillar Party-- happy birthday to Eli and me!  Thanks for stopping by!

The moral of the story is that it is possible to throw a great and affordable party!  I'm pretty sure people don't mind if you even have any decorations. Once you've ordered up some sunshine, and fired up the grill, friends and fun are all it takes to make a party a success!

What are your go-to tips and tricks for hosting a great party?  How do you decorate your house/yard for the occasion?

I'm linking this post to  Whatever Goes Wednesday, Show and Tell Wednesday, Naptime Creations, Give me the Goods MondayRemodelaholic.

This party was featured!


  1. It turned out SOOO CUTE! Wow! I love all the color and the adorable details. Well done, mama! And happy birthday! :)

  2. Thanks Kelly! Sorry it took me so long to reply....just thought I'd better let you know I hadn't keeled over from all the food colouring. ;-)

  3. Um, yum... I really want a slice of that cake. Food coloring and all. ;) Thanks for linking up to Give Me the Goods!

    Rachel @ Maison de Pax

    1. I must was pretty delicious in spite of all the E numbers! ;)

  4. It really was an adorable party, Beth. Thanks for linking up to Give Me the Goods and congratulations on the feature!

    Rachel @ Maison de Pax


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